Two weeks ago, the Government of Pakistan declared a state of emergency following the arrival of plagues of locusts that have devastated the country’s crops of cotton, maize and wheat.
According to the Daily Mail, Firdous Ashiq Awan announced that “We are facing the worst locust infestation in more than two decades and have decided to declare national emergency to deal with the threat.”
On 12 February 2020, the Ministry of National Food Security and Research announced that the 60% tariff on wheat would be dropped on 0.3 million tons of wheat, and that further measures should be taken to “ease the supply situation”.
It may therefore be concerning to the Chinese Government that it could be facing another crisis as a video has emerged online of swarms of locusts appearing in what we understand to be Xinjiang Province in China.
Back in 2017, the Chinese Government initiated a plan to attract more than fifty thousand rosy starlings to Xinjiang to reduce the number and impact of locusts on the region.
Xinjiang is the only province that direct borders Pakistan-controlled territory, although India has also started to face problems with locust infestations, and recently announced that it would be cooperating with Pakistan on measures to alleviate the problem.
For context, according to CGTN, “During the last two millennia, more than 170 outbreaks have been recorded in China. Statistics from 2003 to 2016 show that the land hit by locust outbreaks reached 286 million hectares in China.” Locusts traditionally hit in May, meaning that the present swarm would be unseasonally early.
If you have further information on the locust situation in Xinjiang, please email editors at technical politics dot com.